Pope Francis has suggested that World War III is already in progress, as evidenced by “intertwined elements” at work in the Russia-Ukraine crisis and other conflicts across the globe.
“A few years ago, it occurred to me to say that we are experiencing a third world war fought piecemeal,” the head of the Catholic Church said in a May 19 interview with Jesuit media outlets that was published on Tuesday. “Today, for me, World War III has been declared.”
Francis noted that while the fighting in Ukraine “pricks our sensibilities more,” wars also are ongoing in such places as northern Nigeria and Myanmar, “and nobody cares.” He added, “The world is at war. This is something that should give us pause for thought.”
Acknowledging criticism for his failure to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin and his past comments suggesting that NATO expansion onto Russia’s doorstep might have provoked the crisis, the pontiff denied being “pro-Putin.” He said such a claim would be “simplistic and erroneous.”